Posts Under: Education

Policymakers Should Not Restrict Additional Uses of Student Data

Parental consent is an important element in protecting student privacy.  Of course, as FERPA says, prior consent is not always required when student information is disclosed for the educational purposes of a school under the direction of the school. But the fully informed consent of parents also legitimizes additional uses of student information. When not directed by a school, should a student’s information be shared with potential colleges or employers? What about to a student’s tutor or a scholarship competition? It’s clear there are currently federal and increasingly state laws and regulations to ensure student's sensitive data is protected and used only for educational purposes. As some policymakers though have sought additional protections they have drafted legislation that would preclude parents from authorizing the use of their child's data for purposes restricted or not envisioned by the legislation. They shouldn't. If technology-enabled services a ...


Some Misunderstandings of the Student Privacy Pledge

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Google for violation of the K-12 School Service Provider Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy.  The FTC will assess the complaint on its merits and make a judgment one way or the other.  But, it is important to point out that the complaint contains some important misunderstandings about the student privacy pledge.


Student Privacy Legislation

As Congress considers student privacy legislation in the waning days of this session, it is important to keep in mind two major points.  First, strong, multi-layered protections are already in place: current law, contracts, and voluntary industry commitments are all working together to safeguard student privacy.  In particular, current law already forbids using student information for targeted advertising, and the industry is in compliance with this prohibition.